Pacific Northwest College of Art Announces Interim President

December 04, 2015

Contact: Gillian Floren

Pacific Northwest College of Art Announces Interim President
Emeritus board member and Portland attorney John Casey Mills to serve beginning January 1

Friday, December 4, 2015 – Portland – The Board of Governors of Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) announces that John Casey Mills will serve as interim president. The longtime Portland attorney and PNCA board member will assume the role beginning January 1, 2016, and will serve until a new president is in place.

Mr. Mills serves as an emeritus governor on the PNCA board. In his 10 years as a governor, he has served on the Finance, Academic Affairs (now Core), Executive and Compensation committees. Mr. Mills was also instrumental in the negotiations for the purchase of PNCA’s former building on Northwest Johnson Street and of the Museum of Contemporary Craft as well as the lease from the Powell family of Arthouse, its student residence building. He co-chaired a Task Force on Faculty Employment, served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Employment and the Compensation Committee, and helped to revise PNCA’s Bylaws.

Mr. Mills came to the college as a board intern in 2004 through a program of the Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts. He was honored with emeritus status in 2014.

“We could not have found a better suited interim president, nor a more popular choice,” says PNCA Board Chair Craig Boretz. “As a longtime board member who’s served on many committees and task forces, Casey has garnered respect and admiration from all constituents — faculty, staff, students and board members. We look forward to his leadership at this time of innovation and growth at the college.”

Mr. Mills is stepping into the role created by the pending departure of PNCA President Tom Manley.

Professionally, Mr. Mills worked as an attorney for 30 years, retiring from Miller Nash Graham & Dunn in 2014, where he chaired the firm’s diversity program. He also served on the Oregon State Bar’s Affirmative Action Committee and the Client Security Fund Committee.

Mr. Mills interest in art stems from his early years and the influence of his mother, he says. “I learned an appreciation of visual art from my mother, who was a painter in Venice, California, But my appreciation for PNCA happened the first time I entered the Johnson Street Building and met the faculty and students and felt the positive creativity.”

Following his retirement from Miller Nash, Mr. Mills has volunteered as a naturalist with Metro Regional Government, served on the Program Committee of Partners in Diversity, and did volunteer work for SOLV and Coronado National Forest in Arizona. He started Today is the Day LLC, to encourage people to play golf across Oregon.

Mills holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a law degree cum laude from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College.

About PNCA
As Oregon’s premiere college of art and design since 1909, PNCA has helped shape the region’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. Today PNCA is a dynamic platform for 21st century art and design education at its new campus in the heart of downtown Portland. PNCA offers four BFA programs with 10 concentrations, six graduate programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate program.